people often ask me (or whoever happens to be teaching viewpoints) what soft focus is. described in words, it’s the focus your eyes reach when they are not focused on anything in particular. my teacher alex billings often spoke of “receiving in all six directions”. in front, behind, above, below, to the left and to the right. being aware of everything that’s going on. you can probably see how being in soft focus all the time is a wonderful gift as an actor. because you’re listening with your entire body.
i think it’s best if i use an example i had today.
i was sitting at a cafe in hollywood near selma and vine having a chat with my acting teacher and friend dave razowsky this morning. i was sitting with my back to a busy intersection, and as dave spoke there was a huge screeching and a crash behind me. everyone turned to look, to see a black hyundai (there’s your problem right there) limping towards the curb having caught the front of a white 70’s cadillac. dave then asked me…
d: did you see what happened?
r: yeah the hyundai was speeding, and the cadillac started pulling out. as it pulled out the hyundai clipped the front of the car. looks pretty bad.
d: your back was to the car accident.
r:… well that’s what i THINK… no it’s what happened.
d: but how do you KNOW?
r: i just know.
looking at the damage on both cars, what actually happened was congruent with the description i had given. it was strange, because i hadn’t seen the accident. i didn’t turn around until after i’d heard the bang. but i saw it clear as day in my head.
now some people would call it guessing, and perhaps being lucky. but observing and taking in information relies far more than just on the eyes.
soft focus is a fantastic gift.
this entry got harder to write the longer i left it. i’m exhausted, and have been so for the past month. things have certainly switched gears, and my body is being good enough to adapt and adjust in lieu of the fact that i’ve been starving it of decent fuel and sleep. luckily enough, the rollercoaster ride i’ve been on has pushed the “sleep” button long enough for me to get done what needs to be done.
i was going to look at a few things i’ve done over the past few weeks, but as i come up to june of 2011, i look back at where i was this time last year. i had just finished my first year at aada, and had an uncertain future. my visa was running up and i was about to be deported. second year at aada was never in the cards, and i knew in my heart i wouldn’t make it back. i had no idea what lay ahead, but something in me told me that i’d be fine. it was the same energy that drew for me the courage i needed to quit my job at coca cola in sydney and go to hollywood to be an actor.
so here, i look back at how everything has gone in a very special twelve months.
i completed a summer course at CSU steppenwolf a viewpoints intensive.
i became an equity candidate through my first professional works with east west players and circle x theatre.
i received my work permit and green card.
i became SAG eligible (and today joined as a full member)
i got an agent who works for me and has my back.
i have full profiles in lacasting, actors access, casting frontier, imdb, and youtube.
i have character specific professional headshots.
i have an iphone (on the recommendation of my agent)
i have a car (yes it took me 20 months to get one… in LA no less)
shot three wonderful short films.
did some standard extra work on two features.
completed two commercials.
i have a full time job.
there is never an end to the uncertainty in my future. i am not settled. nor do i expect to “get used to this”. but every day, i train myself to be ok with not knowing what is to come, and to embrace and enjoy it in the knowledge that i truly will be fine.